Members’ Learnings: Bloom & Wild’s Aron Gelbard
Founded in 2013, Bloom & Wild is a trend-focussed floristry company, offering a neat through-the-letterbox flower delivery service that’s using technology to shake up traditional gifting. Member Aron explains more.

In our mobile age, a lot of our culture has become about casually interacting. We’ve moved from the thank you letter to the Snapchat, and all our emotional triggers happen when we’re on the go; our mobiles are where we get Facebook birthday reminders, Whatsapps from our friends, and little pieces of inspiration on our Instagram feeds. We’re excited about finding a way to both participate in this shift, with an easy and almost second-nature mobile way of gifting, but also about preserving some of the traditions that have been associated with flower gifting for thousands of years.

Both my co-founder and I had experienced a number of difficulties trying to send flowers, especially on our mobile phones. The more we researched it, the more we realised that we weren’t the only ones. As we did more research, we learned about how many steps there are in the flower chain (often as many as six), and why that can make flowers expensive, unfriendly to the environment, and only last a few days. We were also inspired by some other creative and innovative delivery models, like Graze.com, and before long we were making our first prototype Bloom & Wild bouquets and boxes.

It’s always been really important to us to not be “just another online florist” and to offer our customers something really different. We’ve learned a huge amount about branding and differentiation. A lot of our early innovation was around packaging, attention to detail in our presentation and in sourcing fresh flowers direct from our growers. We’ve supplemented this over the last year in particular with a really trend-led approach.

We are really committed to having a simple range of flowers that makes it really easy for our customers to explore and shop on their mobiles. This means that every bouquet we offer needs to have something special about it and really appeal to our customers. We’re trying to get even better at interpreting trends and designing the right bouquets that our customers will love. We look to seasonal flowers for this, but also to popular culture. Our range this summer has been inspired by brights and tropics, which we’ve seen cascade down from runways to high-streets, from Chanel’s cruise collection happening in Cuba, to MAC’s summer collection flaunting neon flamingos, this is really evident at the moment with our Rio De Janeiro inspired Gisele bouquet that features mini-pineapples!

We’re just as much a technology company as we are a floristry company and I think, at the beginning, we underestimated what a difference really seamless technology could make. We have a fabulous group of engineers working hard to make our mobile and online experiences faster, more seamless and more personalised, but we had no idea it would be this difficult to built what we’re building, nor to find the great group of people that are doing so.

We also try to use our customers and our community to help us solve problems as much as we can. For example, we’ve done lots of bouquet naming competitions on Instagram that have helped us learn so much about what our flowers mean to our community and we also watch our customers on social media and use this as inspiration for our new bouquets. For example, when we saw lots of posts of beautiful coral peonies in early May, before English peony season had started, we were able to source the flowers from a grower in France, design an on-trend bouquet, photograph it, and start selling it within a couple of days. Many larger flower companies lock down their bouquets a year in advance and don’t have this sort of flexibility to react to trends. As a start-up one of our main advantages is the ability to quickly adapt and change.